[Music] Paul Schütze – New Maps Of Hell

Australian-born, England-based composer Paul Schütze hasn’t been terribly active musically for a few years now, but not because he hasn’t been creative. These days, it seems that his passion is in making perfumes of exquisite quality.

Still, it’s nice to go back to hearing the masters after enduring a barrage of good, but not-quite-brilliant ambient music releases.  This classic was first issued in 1992 by Extreme Records in Australia and followed up by Big Cat in the United Kingdom.  Hopefully New Maps II will also be reissued forthwith.

[Music] Rodion G.A. – The Lost Tapes

Rodion Roșca (in Romanian) was one of the most bizarre and enigmatic musicians to come out of Romania. He was known mainly by those into freaky experimental music or progressive rock. For a quick glimpse of Rodion’s work, check out this link.

[Music] Album Premiere: Girls on Film 1979 Demo EP by Duran Duran feat. Andy Wickett

My brother and I, and millions of boys and (especially) girls grew up with Duran Duran. That Cleopatra Records, undoubtedly the kings of the reissue scene, would release these demos done with former singer Andy Wickett comes as a pleasant surprise.

The Big Takeover Magazine has plenty of background information on this intriguing release, and do take the time to hear Girls On Film in a very raw, far less-polished but perfectly acceptable form.

[Music] Mol Kamach and Baksey Cham Krong – Ne Penser Qu’à Toi

Cambodia’ first guitar rock band was one which could have held its own in France or even the United States during the early 1960s. There’s quite an amazing story to go along with this release, courtesy of the Mol Kamach and Baksey Cham Krong Bandcamp page here:

For the first time two single records of Baksey Cham Krong – the first Cambodian guitar band – are officially being reissued in an identical version. Between surf music and ballad, these two records released in 1963 and 1964 are an invitation to rediscover the effervescent Khmer musical scene of the 1960s.

The early 1960s are often described as the “golden age” of Cambodia, with a flourishing economy and a strong cultural development. As the country had just won its independence, the King Norodom Sihanouk – who had been a singer himself (see below) – encouraged dynamism and creativity in all aspects of cultural life.

In 1959, in the midst of this artistic turmoil, Mol Kamach and his brothers created a band: the Baksey Cham Krong (also spelled Bakseis Cham Krung) named after a temple of the Angkor site. The teenagers were influenced by the latest hits they had listened on the radio. For the music, Kagnol got his inspiration from the rock n’ roll of the Ventures and the Shadows while Kamach took over the vocal techniques of crooners such as Paul Anka. The lyrics were either in French (as for the song Ne penser qu’à toi) or in Khmer. The song Pleine Lune became a hit and revealed Kagnol’s musical genius at playing guitar and Kamach’s delicate voice. From their beginnings on the capital’s high school stages to their first broadcasts on national radio, the success of the Baksey Cham Krong was very quick. At the end of the decade the band already split, the brothers getting back to activities that conformed more with their parents’ expectations.

A few years later, in April 1975, the arrival of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh put an end to this musical development and started the darkest era of Cambodia’s contemporary history. A quarter of the population was killed in the Khmer Rouge genocide and the majority of artists and intellectuals were exterminated in a sordid will to wipe out any form of culture in the country. Films and music were banned, movie tapes and vinyls were destroyed. Mol Kamach and Mol Kagnol luckily managed to flee the country: one now lives in France, the other in the USA. Both still continue to make music nowadays.

Bearing witness to the past history, the reissue of these two single records of Baksey Cham Krong brings back to us the Cambodian musical scene of the 1960s.

Akuphone, the French label responsible for this release, is definitely in possession of a catalog worth exploring.

[Music] Arturo Stàlteri – .​.​.​e il pavone parlò alla Luna

Arturo Stàlteri is a pianist who originally gained fame with the Italian progressive chamber rock group Pierrot Lunaire as a 15-year-old. He is still making magnificent music today, but this particular album is an album which was recorded in 1980 but shelved until today.

[Music] The Rich History—and Present—of Latin American Prog

Pervuian psych-rockers Laghonia.

Noah Berlatsky of Bandcamp Daily gives a decent retrospective on some of the great progressive and psychedelic bands which came out of South America during the 1970s, though, sadly, the Mellow Records contributions seem to be permanently deleted, which is a shame.

[Music] Various Artists – Africa Airways 03 (The Afro​-​Psych Excursion 1972 – 1984)

I have the pleasure to announce yet another amazing compilation of African psychedelica, courtesy of Africa Seven Records out of London, England. The music speaks for itself, but you’ll find a few familiar names here, including Manu Dibango.